Hair multiplication through partial FUE seems like some type of scientific miracle until the facts are further examined. Most people assume that each hair follicle only grows one hair shaft. In this scenario, when one or more hairs actually appears in the recipient area while the donor hairs remain in tact, it may appear that multiplication has taken place.
However, in reality, hair follicles can produce more than one hair shaft. Partial FUE is explained as the use of tiny punches between 0.5-0.6mm. Therefore, it is possible to remove a smaller sub group of the initial hairs present using these diameters. Once inserted into the recipient area, it may appear that new hair was created. But in fact, the actual number of hairs on the individual’s head has stayed the same. Therefore, hair multiplication did not take place.
In an actual Follicular Unit Extraction procedure, the entire follicular unit is used. This may consist of anywhere between 1-4 hairs, or even more. Logically, it is easy to see how using a full follicular unit graft would result in better coverage compared to a partial follicular unit graft in the recipient area.
Also hair transplant practitioners can only using visual cues on the surface of the skin to make decisions on how to position the punch. Therefore it is difficult to accurately know exactly what the punch is doing below the skin. Removing a small subset of a follicular unit may incur damage to the remaining hair in the donor area as the video below illustrates [4:02]. This probability of this risk is more than 50%. Therefore, this type of damage will result in a very depleted donor area as well, compared to a regular Follicular Unit Extraction procedure.
There are actual cases of patients who have undergone partial FUE procedures, only to be horribly disappointed with the hair restoration results. In such situations, the use of body hair grafts can provide the extra resources needed to fill in the sparseness with the depletion of the head donor hair.
Dr. Sanusi Umar is a pioneer in hair transplant surgery and is widely published and recognized in his field. Dr. Umar is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the founder of DermHair Clinic in Los Angeles, CA.